“Cloud computing” and “virtualization” similar but not the same
When reading, we may often find certain technology-related terms confusing or difficult to understand. By simplifying them to make them easier to understand, we might be making the mistake of not paying attention to the finer shades of meaning that mark the difference. Something like this has happened with the acronyms SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, which just a few months ago we explained here. This time, we would like to focus on another concept related with cloud computing: virtualization.
On 26 January, specialist portal Ticbeat explained in an article that “cloud” and “virtualization” are two terms with different meanings, even though they do share certain similarities. These services are related, but “not interchangeable”, so it is crucial to have each concept quite clear.
Virtualization consists of creating a virtual version of a technological resource, such as a hardware platform, operating system or storage device. This process is carried out using software and its objectives are to centralize administrative tasks, improve scalability and reduce workloads.
With virtualization, the software manipulates the hardware to abstract its resources and split them up into one or more execution frameworks. For example, through a virtual machine we can have several computers running on the same physical computer. We could do the same with broadband (network virtualization), storage and servers. This technology, which allows savings on resources, is known as VMM (Virtual Machine Monitor).
Cloud computing, however, is one result of virtualization, which arises from manipulation of the hardware. We could therefore say that the cloud is based on this technology. It is the narrow relationship between the two concepts which has led to their incorrect use as synonyms.